Wednesday, January 26, 2011

firstfruits and joy

(I think I figured out why I put off blogging. I have always liked to write so why put it off? The other day Grace brought home a great story that she had written at school and I told her what a wonderful writer she was and that she should keep doing it and she said, "No, I'm not patient enough." Aha! I think that's what it is for me too. I am a patient person but I spend so much time being patient that to spend even more time being patient so I can get my thoughts down is a little too much patience. =) But I just read a wonderful post from an amazing young woman in our church named Marybeth and I was inspired to click "New Post".)

I just had another birthday. I started this one year ago on my 31st birthday and so I thought another birthday post would be a good idea. Boy is God amazing. He is moving mightily, have you noticed? I feel like He is just calling people back to Himself, awakening us from a long slumber. I know He's always moving and maybe it's just me taking notice as He opens my eyes too, but there is a joy around me that seemed to be missing. Justin and I went to Onething in Kansas City after Christmas with some friends and it was an amazing time, but there was one thing (yes one thing at Onething=) that I heard in my heart over and over. "Just DO IT already!" Many years ago I heard Beth Moore say in one of her studies that it was when she gave God her firstfruits that she really started to grow and awaken. I thought, "I need to do that BUT not right now. Someday I will when I'm not so tired." In the last year I rolled over when Justin got up early to make sure he got time with Jesus. "I will...I'm just not ready to commit to that yet." Well, the Lord used many of the wise words I heard at Onething to finally get ahold of me. There's no time to be wasted in this life. I came home ready to go. I ask God to wake me up, give me a prick in my heart, and I will obey. I have to say that He has done it and most of the time I have obeyed. But I have failed too. And that is the other message that got to me - directly tying into "Just do it!" - when you mess up, push delete and press on. I think I had it in my head that if I was going to make this committment, I better be ready because failing is not an option. I don't like to fail so I was scared to jump in. I would find a time in the day to spend with Jesus and that was great, but it wasn't my firstfruits and that is what I was being called to do. Press delete and press on. It's not about not learning from our mistakes, but about not giving up. Misty Edwards sings these words..."don't give up, don't give in. If you don't quit, you'll win. You'll win." I want Jesus to say "well done" to me. I can't stand the thought of Him saying, "I never knew you". There is nothing I want more than to fully live into the life He has for me. And the first step is obedience. And that's each day, by the way, not a one time deal.

Slowly and surely He is freeing me from my perfectionistic tendencies. I thought most of them were gone away but my eyes keep being opened opened to different bondages that I didn't even know were there. I don't need to have it perfect before I even start. My mom has told me that I always wanted to do it right the first time when I was growing up. Now I wanted to be 100% ready before making a committment like rising early to be with Jesus. But He wants me just as I am. And I bet if I ask, He will keep revealing the things I need to give to Him. I bet it won't be comfortable but it will be worth it.

And back to joy. I love joy. I think I'm usually pretty joyful but I've had an extra measure of joy stuck on me since I came home from Kansas City. I hope to see our church overflow with joy and pour it into our city. A city of song. Praising Jesus with our songs of joy. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it. We are here to worship Him, love on His people, and truly LIVE. Our time is the blink of an eye and when we finally grasp that kingdom perspective - that it's not about me - that is where we find life and joy and the hope of eternity. That's what I want.

Oh, and one more thing. My friend Daniel Brunz just released his first cd and when I listen to it, it's like the Holy Spirit is just pouring His truth out. Daniel truly was inspired when he wrote these songs and I think you should buy his cd. (And I sing a little on it so that's fun too =)